Venice Director On “Blade Runner 2049” Absence

It seemed unlikely, but there was a small chance that Denis Villeneuve might have brought “Blade Runner 2049” to one of the Fall’s upcoming film festivals like Venice or Toronto.

With both fests announcing their line-ups last week, it has been confirmed that’s not the case. Part of the reason is the film is still being worked on, with Hans Zimmer and Benjamin Wallfisch coming aboard to help out on the score.

However there’s another reason. Venice Film Festival head Alberto Barbera spoke with Screen Daily about the absence saying it comes down to concern over spoilers and the film’s reception:

“More than ever studios are afraid about that moment when their movies encounter audiences and press for the first time as this may negatively impact their box office.”

Barbera calls it a growing problem for festivals in general. Thanks to social media, review aggregation sites and post-screening polls, the ‘verdict’ on a film can often be decided very quickly after the first screenings – which can have an impact on revenue coming in for the studio in both positive and negative ways.

“Blade Runner 2049” is also the kind of film that isn’t really in need of a festival premiere thanks to a familiar brand name, major studio support, wide release and massive marketing campaign already underway.

“Blade Runner 2049” opens on October 6th.